8 Things That Lead to Happiness

By: Laura Peill – (Check out her blog Chronicles of Passion & Facebook) 

Finding yourself in a bit of a negative funk lately? Struggling to find your motivation and get into gear? It happens to us all, and sometimes for no apparent reason.

Be it the weather, a recent life event, or just too much on your plate, here’s how you can break out of that negative slump and be back to your best, happy self:

Get some sleep – While it may seem that with everything you have to do, staying up late is the only time to do it, it certainly is not going to help your state of mind. Sleep lets our brains function at their optimum and provides a clean and rational mindset to tackle whatever life throws at us. When you are sleep deprived none of these things work out as well, and it may indeed send you into a further negative spiral. Instead, set a regular schedule for getting up and going to bed and allow your body to be on this regular clock. You will wake up feeling rested, get up on time and be able to be more efficient and productive all day long.

Get some exercise – You know about the benefits of exercise in terms of heart health and keeping you fit, but what about in terms of your mental health? Exercise provides a great opportunity for you to clear your mind and take a break from your day and all the stresses it entails. Furthermore, exercise releases endorphins, which allow us to experience a natural high and feeling of euphoria, making you happier and sending te negative thoughts straight out of your mind. Yes that runner’s high you’ve heard about is a real thing, now go out and get it!

Indulge in a piece of dark chocolate – Crave chocolate when you’re sad and stressed? Well good news: dark chocolate stimulates the release of endorphins just like exercise and also is loaded with antioxidants, which are good for your overall health maintenance. Try going for a run and then treating yourself to dark chocolate afterwards for a double whammy of happiness hormones!

Try some matcha – Here’s the reality: even those people you see who look to be so happy and are bouncing around all giddy and bubbly all of the time have their days of low energy. Instead of reaching for a cup of coffee however, which will give you an energy burst from the caffeine and then a major energy crash afterwards, make yourself some matcha tea instead! Matcha acts similarly to caffeine in that it provides a boost in energy, but it doesn’t have the crash part after. Plus, with all the antioxidants it has, your body will be humming with energy and happy vibes!

Attend a yoga class – From the stretching and strengthening benefits to easing your mind and helping you shift your perspective, yoga comes with lots of perks when you need a little perk-up. Find a local studio that has a weekly karma class where you can enjoy yoga and give back to the community and allow the benefits of the practice to clear your head. Don’t feel like you have time to hit the studio? Practice yoga at home! Then you can have some alone time (see number 9), and some yoga time!

Get up early – There’s nothing worse than feeling like you wasted half of your day in bed. Whether it’s because you didn’t go to bed early enough (see number 1), or you’re just a heavy sleeper and no amount of daylight, disturbs your slumber, set an alarm on the other side of the room and get out od bed! Do this enough and you will reset your biological clock so you can get up earlier easily and without feeling sluggish and tired. In doing so, you will be able to get more done in a day, feel less lazy, or negative towards yourself because you overslept and, have a better outlook and start to the day. And plus, if you start to get up really early, you may even be able to squeeze your exercise in first thing and see the beautiful great outdoors at its prime. There’s nothing like a gorgeous sunset to put a smile on your face!

Start the day with lemon water – Research has shown that your gut health – and how healthy it is or isn’t – can affect everything from your mindset to your confidence to your brain. There is a link between your brain and belly (you know how you get butterflies when you’re nervous?), and when one is off, the other likely is too. For many people this manifests as negativity and feeling down, or exasperates an already down, sad kind of mood. If you find yourself with a lot of stomach problems, consider adding some probiotics to your diet – like kombucha and yogurt – or finding out the root cause of it. And then see how it affects your happiness!

Spend some time with just yourself – No technology, no screens, nobody else, just you. Whether you are writing, thinking, reflecting, meditating or just reading your favorite book, sometimes your brain can become over stimulated by all the people and emails and screens and calendars and you just need to let it refresh and reset. Give yourself this time every day and schedule yourself into your calendar. You are totally worth it!

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